My Method for Healing
I should probably explain a little about my methods for healing. This wasn’t something I had planned for or even realized what I was doing. It took a few months for me to see the pattern and figure out that my mind had found a way to cope with what I was going through.
First, I read and research. When an issue presents itself foremost in my mind, I have a driving need to learn everything I can about it. I Google, I read research, I seek out people who’ve been-there-done-that to see their perspectives. I find any and all information I can about the subject. As I do this, my emotions are totally disengaged from the process. It is very clinical. It is almost as if I’m trying to learn as much about that subject as I can for someone else. It brings to mind the research papers I wrote during my teen years.
Second, I start to process the information I’ve collected by talking about it. I have an amazing counselor, Liz, who walks me through finding my own answers. Sometimes that really drives me nuts as I just want her to tell me what she thinks or what I should do. She would rather guide me to figuring it out myself. I know that is the way it has to happen, but it doesn’t mean I always have to like it. I also talk to my friends about what I’m processing and I write in my journal.
The third and final step I take is to let everything touch me emotionally. Since I spent the better part of 40 years burying my emotions, this can be difficult for me. Many times I don’t even know what I’m feeling. It is very hard for me to pick out and identify the emotions that I’m feeling. There have been times that I’ve been crying and really couldn’t say whether I was sad, angry, hurt, upset, happy, or something else. I just knew I had to cry. I told Liz about one of these instances and she asked what I was feeling. I simply did not know. The next time it happened, I made a focused effort to ask myself, “What am I feeling? Why am I crying?”
I laid in my bed and analyzed myself. Once I was able to pick out one emotion, hurt, the rest started asserting themselves. It was almost like the emotions were their own entities and were fighting for the spotlight. I had to reassure myself that I was able to feel them all and that not one of them would be forgotten or ignored. That crying jag lasted 45 minutes because as soon as I started to calm down, another emotion made its presence known and had to be felt.
Many times, I will repeat steps after I’ve done the initial method. As new emotions come out, I feel the need to do more research to see if anyone else felt that way too. It seems that so much of what I do circles around, “Is this normal?” I need to know that I’m not the only one going through this or that I’m really not crazy. Knowing that I’m not the only one who has gone through this and feels like this is very validating.
A friend also pointed out another step to my method that I would never have made a connection to. It seems that every time I make a great stride in my healing I hit a roadblock and want to wave the white flag. Many times this almost led me into calling Bubba to see if he’d talk about reconciling because I just didn’t want to fight him anymore. Then my friend recognized what was happening. I started making allowances for this and had a plan in place. If I ever got to the point of wanting to give up, I would look back over the past week and see if I’d had a major breakthrough. Each and every time I had and knew that the hopeless feeling was just another part of the cycle. Eventually I got to the point where I realized I had a breakthrough and I’d actually be on the lookout for the White Flag Day. Once I knew what I was looking for, the white flag feeling was easy to fend off.
This method works well for me and I continue to use it. I hope to get to a point where I can merge all the steps and work through issues more efficiently but for now, I’m content to be who I am and heal in a way that works so well for me.